Tim Mckenna Underwater at The Waterman Tahiti Tour

Australian Tim Mckenna, based in Tahiti, is a master of his profession, specialising in aerial, underwater and extreme sports photography, he has produced some jaw dropping footage of the Waterman Tahiti Tour (WTT), and other watersports events held in French Polynesia. Tim’s stunning footage shot at the final of the Waterman Tahiti Tour last year could really inspire us to enter the next round of the WTT 2k18. Tim Mckenna Talks to TotalSUP about his love affair with Tahiti, the ocean and his footage of the WTT 2017.

Hi,Tim Can you introduce yourself?

I have been shooting surf and action sports all around the world for close to 28 years. It’s the simple beauty of nature and it’s powerful and raw elements that inspire me. The ocean,waves and all the different watermen activities being my favourite subjects. I rarely miss an occasion to go underwater to capture the beauty of our world from below the surface. Nowadays I shoot stills as much as I film. In this age of super specialised professionals I try and keep mixing up my work to stay motivated and on the edge. Although I have branched out to fashion, aerial, travel and commercial work nothing gets me more amped than going back to my first love : shooting above and below the ocean

When did the love affair with Tahiti begin?

I first discovered Tahiti in 1986, then returned in1997 for a surf trip, where I stayed for 4 weeks, I then moved there to continue my work, I was looking for a place where I could settle as I had been traveling 9 months out of a year for at least 15 years. Moving to Tahiti I knew I could do all the types of photography I liked and people would come to me.

What is involved in working on the Waterman Tahiti Tour?

It is a little complicated because everything happens in the water and over a large area. You need to anticipate and have all your gear protected to get the job done. Moorea is great because of the clarity of the water and great scenery. Papara is usually pretty cool also because of the waves.

It adds an extra element to the challenges. I try to capture  original underwater footage , some of the key fights between athletes and moments where the watermen and women show pure emotion. Using the seabob, an underwater scooter that is designed to explore the surface of the sea and beneath it allows me to capture the athletes in full motion.

The video footage shows athletes Carter Graves, Matt Poole (Prone Paddle board) and Grace Van Der Byl (on the SUP)  at the Ironmana at Bora Bora, the final of the waterman Tahiti tour held last December.

Follow TotalSUP for the next round of the 2k18 WTT at Huahine on the 21st to 24th May 2018!

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